Holiday Traditions Around the World, Part 1

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With the holiday season coming around, it’s a great time to teach your children about all of the different holidays and their traditions around the world. Check out a couple of our favorites:

1. The U.S.

    • Kwanzaa is a holiday celebrated by African Americans in the United States. Based on an ancient African harvest festival, the celebration lasts a week and ends with a feast and gift-giving. The primary goal of the holiday is to celebrate African heritage and focuses on seven core principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

2. Israel

    • Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is a holiday celebrated by Jews all around the world. Lasting eight days, the holiday celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple during the 2nd century BCE. The holiday can occur at any time between late November and late December and its most famous feature is the menorah, upon which one candle is lit each night.

3. France

    • Christmas in France involves a few unique traditions we don’t follow here in the U.S. In France, Santa Claus is known as Pere Noel and children leave their shoes by the fireplace on Christmas Eve so that he will fill them with gifts. Another popular tradition is the Buche de Noel, a chocolate cake designed to look like a yule log. Yum!

4. Sweden

    • St. Lucia Day is celebrated in mid-December in Sweden. Girls dress up as “Lucia brides” in white dresses with red sashes and wreaths of lit candles on their heads. The girls wake up their families with traditional songs and deliver them a breakfast of coffee and Lucia buns.

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